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Basic Pork Filling Chinese Style

For Juicy Yummy Pork Buns, Dumplings, Wontons, Meatballs and more

by Shirley
Published: Updated:
Marinated Pork Fillings for Dumplings and Buns

Basic Pork Filling made of home ground pork and marinated with traditional Chinese condiments, spices and herbs are so juicy and naturally yummy. With this at hand, you can make all kinds of dumplings, buns or meatballs. Use as is or slightly adjust to adapt to the specific needs.

For instance, mix this with finely chopped vegetable to make a pork vegetable dumplings.

You can also adjust the ratio between the naturally aged soy sauce vs. light soy sauce to influence the color of the filling. The pork filling looks darker when adding more naturally aged soy sauce.

You can further adjust the sugar amount to achieve the desired sweetness level. For instance, Shanghai Soup Dumplings, Pork Sweet Rice Dumplings, or Shanghai Sheng Jian Mantou {Pan Fried Pork Buns} usually taste sweeter than Pork Dumplings Jiao Zi.

Last but not least, add extra seasoning to accommodate the desired dumplings or buns’ taste. For example, Tian Mian Jiang {Sweet Bean Paste} is often added to Pork Buns.

pork filling on a homemade dumpling wrapper
Pork Filling on a Homemade Dumpling Wrapper to wrap Shanghai Soup Dumplings

What is the best Ground Pork for dumplings, buns or meatballs?

First, the Ground Pork shall come from fresh quality pork meat

The ground pork should come from fresh and quality pork meat such as shoulder, butt or belly.

Second, the Ground Pork shall have a good balance between lean vs. fatty meat

A certain amount of fat is essential for juicy pork filling.

Home Ground Pork
Home Ground Pork

Third, best ground pork contains meat that is chopped into small bits but not overly processed

I use a medium-sized grinder setting to maintain the meaty level. Small bits of pork are another essential secret for tasty meat flavor. Exactly the reason people in old days chop ground pork on a wooden chopping board using a cleaver.

How to make a perfect Basic Pork Filling for dumplings, buns or meatball?

The first thing first is to use the best ground pork

It is super easy to ground pork at home using a meat grinder or KitchenAid meat grinder attachment to have just the right ground pork. It uses 60% pork butt or shoulder and 40% pork belly.

Home Ground Pork for juicy delicious dumpling fillings, meatballs and more
Home Ground Pork for juicy delicious dumpling fillings, meatballs and more

Tip #2 is to marinate the pork properly

Simple wholesome ingredients in this recipe do an astonishing job tenderizing and flavor the pork. Chinese traditional cooking condiments Shaoxing winesoy sauce, and a pinch of Zhenjiang vinegar work perfectly together to season the ground pork. A pinch of Himalayan pink saltcoriander seeds powder and star anise powder elevate the flavor to a new level. Egg and arrowroot flour help bind the pork filling together.

I usually get organic whole coriander seeds and then use a spice grinder to turn them into powder.

Tip #3 is to stir the ground pork in one direction

Use a wooden spatula to break down the ground pork first. Then fold the pork into the surrounding seasoning. Once everything is loosely combined, turn the wooden spatula swiftly in the same direction until the whole thing turns into a paste. Add a bit of water if needed.

Like Pork Filling dumplings, buns and meatballs? Check them out here.

yummy food featuring pork filling
Marinated Pork Fillings for Dumplings and Buns

Basic Pork Filling for Dumplings, Buns or Meatballs

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Basic Pork Filling makes such juicy and delicious dumplings, buns or meatballs.. With this at hand, you can then quickly adapt to different dumplingswontonsbuns, or meatballs.


  • 1 lb ground pork, home-ground preferred
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp natural (a.k.a dark) soy sauce, see notes
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Zhenjiang vinegar
  • 1 large cage-free egg
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 1/4 tsp to 1 tsp sugar, organic unrefined cane sugar, see notes
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds powder, freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp star anise powder or clove powder, optional, if you prefer a sharp flavor and taste
  • 1 stalk of green onions, finely chopped


  1. Wash and chop green onions into small pieces.
  2. Add everything into a big mixing bowl.
    Ingredients for Basic Pork Filling for dumplings, buns and meatballs
  3. Use a long bamboo spatula, press to break down the ground pork, and then continuously fold pork into the seasoning mixture
    Marinating Basic Pork Filling for dumplings, buns or meatballs
  4. When everything is roughly blended, swiftly turn the spatula in one direction, either clockwise or counterclockwise to mix/blend everything together, for 30 seconds. Repeat a couple of times.
    Stir Pork Filling in one direction
  5. Use a mini rubber spatula to scrape on the inner walls of the mixing bowl.
  6. All done, you are ready to wrap some yummy dumplings.


  • When I say "natural or regular soy sauce" (Jiang You 酱油), I mean traditionally & naturally brewed soy sauce, which typically takes at least one year or longer to age. This is the soy sauce I primarily use together with light soy sauce.
  • If you only have choices of dark soy sauce ( Lao Chou 老抽) vs. light soy sauce ( Sheng Chou 生抽), you can use dark soy sauce to substitute natural or regular soy sauce.
  • Light soy sauce is derived from regular soy sauce brewing, typically as early as around 30 days. They have a lighter color and a saltier taste.
  • The ratio between natural (dark) and light soy sauce depends on the desired food color and taste. For instance, if you want the meat to look darker, then use 2 tbsp natural soy sauce and 1 tbsp light soy sauce; if you prefer the meat to have original color looking, then you can either use 3 tbsp light soy sauce or 2 tbsp light soy sauce and 1 tbsp natural (dark) soy sauce.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 servings Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 380Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 153mgSodium 664mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 32g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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1 comment

Poland Websites January 26, 2021 - 9:16 am

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